Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

SalSA: A Teraton UHE Neutrino Detector

Kevin Reil
SLAC

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
10:30 AM @ Stirling 201

Abstract:

The observed spectrum of ultra-high energy cosmic rays virtually guarantees the presence of ultra-high energy neutrinos due to their interaction with the cosmic microwave background. Unlike cosmic rays, each of these neutrinos will point back directly to its source and will arrive at the Earth unattenuated, from sources perhaps as distant as z=20. The neutrino telescopes currently under construction, should discover a handful of these events, probably too few for detailed study. In this talk I will describe how an array of VHF and UHF antennas embedded in a large salt dome, SalSA (Saltdome Shower Array) promises to yield a teraton detector (>500 km^3-sr) for contained neutrino events with energies above 10^17 eV. Our simulations show that such a detector may observe several hundreds of these neutrinos over its lifetime. Our simulations also show how such interactions will provide high energy physicists with an energy frontier for weak interactions an order-of-magnitude larger than that of the LHC. The flavor ID capabilities of SALSA, combined with the extreme L/E (distance over energy) of these neutrinos, will provide a window on neutrino oscillations and decay times eight orders of magnitude higher than laboratory experiments. In addition to the latest simulation results, I will show progress on detectors and site selection.